As you may or may not have heard, yesterday was “Embrace Your Geekiness Day.” How do I know this, you ask? Because I’m a geek, and I get the monthly newsletter. Duh.
What is a Geek?
An excellent question. The most common definition of geek is “a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders).” However, I prefer the following two definitions:
“A peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual” and (possibly my favorite)
“A carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acting, such as biting the head off a live chicken.”
Chicken head-biting aside, being a geek is actually a good thing. Geeks make more money, have more stuff, are more intelligent, and tell and understand the best jokes. Geeks rule the world. Just look at Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
I am a Geek
Not only do I wear comically thick glasses and have a weird obsession with puns, I also have oodles of OCD tendencies and a moderately severe case of stage fright. I burn when exposed to sunlight, abhor all thinks that smell even remotely of sports, played Dungeons and Dragons in college, and I am dating the king of all geeks.
In short, I’m the perfect candidate for a book blogger.
…A Huge Geek
So how did I celebrate Embrace Your Geekiness Day? With several geeky book and reading-related items, of course!
Lap Desk – The lap desk is the quintessential item for most book geeks. Padded on bottom and smooth wood on top, they’re the perfect surface on which to rest even the heaviest tomes. Helps when taking notes, whether in the book itself or on separate pieces of paper.
Bookmarks – I am a bookmark whore. I collect bookmarks like some people collect significant others. I have bookmarks from Prague, bookmarks from Poland, bookmarks from Africa, bookmarks from Barnes and Noble, bookmarks stolen from other people, random stuff that I use as bookmarks (tissues, squares of toilet paper, pressed flowers, pens, Post-its, ribbons, thread, old love letters, brochures for museums…). I never use all of them, and in fact cannot use all of them, because no one can read that many books simultaneously. But I keep collecting them nonetheless.
Head Lamp – Laugh if you wish, but I can read in the dark. Or mine for coal, whichever comes in handy at a particular moment.
Highlighters and Pens – I try not to use highlighters too often. I took the lesson of “highlight the important parts” very much to heart, and since I generally consider every sentence of a book I read to be of penultimate importance, I tend to get carried away.* I like to write in the margins, though. I carry on inky conversations with characters, make snarky comments when I disagree with something, and circle words I don’t know (for later definition-searching).
Dictionary – Comes in mighty handy, especially when I read Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad). If you’re not frequently reading books that demand your searching for word definitions, you’re not challenging yourself enough.
RSS Feed – Allows me to pull all of the blogs and stuff I read (23 and counting) into my Google reader for maximum geekage. It was actually from one of these feeds, The Gloss, that I learned about Embrace Your Geekiness Day.
And now I can just tell that you’re all aflutter, wondering, pining, desperate to know:
Where to get Geeky Items?
Levenger — Their tagline says it all: “Tools for serious readers.” If you need lap desks, reading lights, bookmarks, tabs, spiral notebooks, or just about any other geeky book-related item, chances are Levenger has something to satisfy you. They even have a small collection of special books that are printed only by them. And they seem to have a strange fascination with Lincoln.
Bas Bleu — A fantastic bookseller-by-post. Bas Bleu wades through all the muck and finds some of the best treasures, and then sells those items online. Their website is awesome, and their catalogues make for great browsing. They sell books that you won’t find on shelves, as well as fun games, children’s literature, and little gifts, accessories, and stationary. Check out their website for all the geeky goodness.
Barnes and Noble — Books, books, and more books! I prefer B&N to Amazon simply because the B&N website is much easier to navigate. Barnes and Noble also sells spiral notebooks, desk calendars, bookmarks, bookbags, journals, and all kinds of other goodies. The only downside is that there are not enough comfortable chairs in the stores.
Mental_floss – These guys are part of my RSS feed, and they’re awesome. If you like to read about trivia in all subjects from all corners of the world, this is your place. Other special topics include things like word and math puzzles, quizzes, trivia, and a fair amount of total randomness. Mental Floss is a published magazine to which you can subscribe, but you can follow their blog in your RSS feed. It’s a great website in which to get lost in geekiness.
Even though Embrace Your Geekiness Day is over, it’s never too late to revel in your own brand of geekitude. Take some time this week to geek it up, whatever that means to you. Read a book, tinker with electronics, arrange your clothes in the order of the rainbow, whatever. Just remember to be geeky, because the geek shall inherit the earth!
*I have a copy of Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in which entire pages are highlighted in electric pink and purple ink.
Tomorrow is July 15, so keep an eye out for a special Thursday update on my summer project. Swing by to check out my continued geekiness!
Have you marked your calendar for next year’s Embrace Your Geekiness Day? Did you know that I used the word “geek” (and its derivations) 25 times in this entry? If you noticed, congratulations: you’re a bigger geek than me (…26).